Exercising at a Later Age

There are many reasons why we tend to slow down and become more sedentary with age. It may be due to health problems, weight or pain issues, or worries about falling. Or perhaps you think that exercising simply isn’t for you. But as you grow older, an active lifestyle becomes more important than ever to your health.

Ryan Wight

Ryan Wight

RKin, CSEP-CEP
Kinesiologist
Stoney Creek, ON
Mr. Tim Battaglia

Mr. Tim Battaglia

EMBA Candidate
Kinesiologist
Hamilton, ON
Mr. Jeff Ransome

Mr. Jeff Ransome

BSc.Kin. NSCA-CSCS, ACSM.(ES), CSEP, ACE (PT) FaCT
Kinesiologist
Mississauga, ON

Dr. David Matheson, MD, FRCPC, Retired Physician, discusses concerns of exercising at a later age.

Dr. David Matheson, MD, FRCPC, Retired Physician, discusses the benefits of exercise later in life.

How to Begin an Exercise Program

Well, actually, the motivation to get into exercise was not really internal.

My wife really asked me to do it. So she was wanting to jog. She used to jog quite a bit and wanted to go back at it, so she said come on, we are going to go take the training program and we will do that. I said I didn’t want to go but she persuaded me to go. We went and it turned out really well and that was 11 years ago and I have been jogging ever since.

I think a couple things worked well in the favor for making me able to stay with it for that long. Sure, in the past, I’d tried before. But now I just tried it this last time and what was different was two or three things.

Number one, was there was a program that really worked. You know in the past, I tried something just on my own and it didn’t quite work. I found a program that was fairly simple.

You know, jog one minute and walk for five and do that for three times during the week for 30 minutes each and then jog two minutes and walk for four and that kind of thing and it worked out well.

And pretty soon you realize you can actually do your 10K. So you know I really believe that there’s are a lot of opportunities to do that and to build up from a program that works is probably number one.

Probably the more important one was doing it with a group. And in this group there were individuals of all different ages, some my age and they were just starting and it worked very well because what happened is that I was able to join with the group, feel comfortable with them when we were doing the training, but more importantly, this group decided to stay together after the run. So we stayed together and we’ve have been jogging every Sunday now for six years.

So, I would strongly recommend that if somebody wanted to get into jogging they take a good program, go with a group, find a group of your own age, and try and stay with the group
afterwards. That peer pressure is so good in order to keep going.

So, I have chosen to run. That was my route. There’s lots of other routes you can get to get exercise. And you know, there’s a lot of people say walking is the best exercise and that’s good but I mean if you do that – if you do dancing, all sorts of things that you can do as you get older that will work out. Get that heart rate a little boost and help.

I haven’t had too many problems with joints. I believe joints get better as you exercise and, in fact, I have not had any difficulty with joints. I had a few hurts on my foot but I mean that was just banging into things and things like that and they’re better now, so one just goes on ahead. So, I have really not had any problems at all, and as long as that stays the case, I’m going to be quite happy. I’ll keep going.
Presenter: Dr. David Matheson, Pediatrician, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Pediatrician

Concerns About Exercising at a Later Age

So when I started, I decided I wanted to have a little bit of advice from somebody else, so I spoke to my family doctor and that helped a lot.

That was for the jogging. When I started my sort of weightlifting thing, I went to the trainer and I took a few examples from him about what to do with the weights and how to work the machines and had a few lessons and that worked really well. I wanted to try to force myself to do the weight training though on my own to see if I had that stick-to-it-iveness to do it.

So, I said six weeks, I’m going to give myself six weeks, two or three times a week, and if I don’t feel the difference after that I will maybe slow down. I felt a difference. It was great.

I had a few injuries and I did see a couple physiotherapists to try and help one time with an elbow and one time with a foot and the physiotherapists helped a lot for those sorts of things. There are people out there who have all sorts of interests and expertise in exercise physiology, exercise problems. It’s really worth keeping in touch with them as you need them.

When you are exercising, there’s different phases you go through. At the start, I strongly recommend that you talk to your doctor, particularly if you’re older. You want to know that everything is okay and that you should be able to do that. I think that’s fine.

Sometimes you are going to need expertise in training so go to a trainer, go to a kinesiologist, try to find out who is going to give you the right advice and help you with some technique and things.

Bad technique can lead to injuries. If you do get an injury, there ‘s lots of people that can help you with that. Physiotherapists are really great. Sports physiologists, physiotherapists are just fantastic. Kinesiologists can help a lot. Massage therapists are really great when there’s that muscle injury that you just want to try to slow down.

So, there’s lots of people out there to help you. You’re the one that has to provide the incentive to do it and the will to do it, but lots of people will help you when the problems come up.
Presenter: Dr. David Matheson, Pediatrician, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Pediatrician

Dr. David Matheson, MD, FRCPC, Retired Physician, discusses how to begin an exercise program at a later age.

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